I’ve just got back from the Equip Auto show in Paris and I am pleased to report that it seemed rather buoyant.
Having visited various stands, there were players out there who definitely benefited from the outlay of cash required to exhibit.
They went with a sound plan, clear objectives andÂ did some very good business as a result.
Here are top five companies I saw (in no particular order):
Out of everyone exhibiting, I spent the most time on the Corteco stand.
Sceptics among you will thinkÂ was due toÂ theirÂ free coffee, biscuits, champagne and beer. Or the hostess serving them.
Okay I admit it,Â the former was an attraction, butÂ it was also fascinating talking to Steve Jarnett and his German boss Reiner Martsfeld about their whole operation.
You can tell when a company is going places from the passion exuded by its employees, and that was definitely the case here.
Both men oozed passion. As long as they – and theirÂ team -Â stay in place, they are a company to watch out for in the next year or two.
And b*gger me wasn’t their stand busy with deals being done.
Another company that will be making inroads into the UK aftermarket in 2010 is Suplex.
Owned by Andrew Graham (who has worked in some guise or other for Suplex since the mid-1990s) their slick and detailed sales pitches were backed up by a top-dollar product.
I never thought that the whole business of suspension springs was that important (or indeed interesting), but Andrew deonstrated that I was wrong on both counts.
Their tapered springs looked market leaders.
I have no doubt that garages up and down the country will be fitting them to customers’ cars in greater numbers than ever next year.
As with Corteco, the Suplex stand was crazily busy. Always a good sign.
I am not including these guys because they sponsored our Show Guide.
Instead, it’s because they had a great diagnostic product onÂ show, aimedÂ at independent garages.
I’ve never seen a diagnostic machine in action before, but they had one they were showing off.
It even had a name – DES. Not only did DES look good but he was easy to use, too.
If something went wrong with my Beemer, even I would stand a fighting chance of diagnosing the problem with DES on my side!
I’d love to say I hadÂ a long meeting with Karen Poffley, but it had to be a fleeting ‘hello’ as she was inundated with people wanting to do business.
I was delighted that that was the case. It’s just what we like to see.
Meeting Helen Lumley of BMC was good too. We’d spoken a lot on the phone before, but not actually met.
She wasn’t as I’d expected – she was a lot younger!
HelenÂ explained BMC’s strategy for the show to me and editor Emma, while also running us through the products.
Again, there were top-notch products on show from a company that is passionate about the aftermarket.
While I didn’t meet up with anyone on the Denso stand (itÂ seemed to beÂ Denso Europe rather than Denso UK) their new, expanded product ranges were on show and creating a lot of interest.
This is another company shaking the aftermarket up with significant investment and marketing budgets: nexst year will be a big one for them.
So those would be my top five ‘star companies’ of the show.
If you were exhibitting or went and you disagree, let me know. I only had a day-and-a-a-half there so couldn’t get to see everyone.
But all those I did speak to or see seemed to be reporting a successful show.
The mood was buoyant. And that can only bode well for the Aftermarket as 2009 draws to a close.